If your friend posts on social media about how much they love a new product or service, are you going to be more curious about it? Probably. Not only does the FOMO kick in, but you trust their opinions and recommendations.
We’re not going to bore you with data and numbers, but this is pretty powerful. A study from Kantar Media found that 93% of respondents trust family and friends for reliable information about brands and services. Aside from family and friends, review sites were the second-most trusted source for information about brands, products, and services.
This is one of the many reasons that user-generated content is so effective for brands. Hootsuite defines user-generated content (UGC) as “any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands.”
UGC is a great way for brands to showcase authenticity and build trust among their audience. It’s way more relatable for current and potential customers to see photos and videos from other humans rather than the standard messages from brands or even photos of models. UGC is also a powerful way to show how the product or service fits into people’s lifestyle and how they’ve benefited from it. It’s real and human, and makes people feel like they are truly part of the brand.
UGC also helps brands to get customer feedback and testimonials, to fulfill the desire for human connection, to build and strengthen their community, and to gather strong content without spending money, time, energy, and other resources to create it.
UGC isn’t anything new, but there are a lot of brands that are doing a great job at leveraging content from their community. So we’re going to highlight a few.
The Airbnb Instagram feed takes you on an adventure with beautiful and strong photos of homes, cabins, and cottages around the world. They showcase their rentals through the eyes of their community members, like the people traveling and the hosts.
The photos are accompanied by captions that help describe the rental, making it feel even more personal and authentic. It feels like you are right there in the moment.
If you’ve been following along with us, you know that we LOVE coffee. Not only do we love Starbucks, but we also love their content and the community they’ve created! Starbucks shares fun, heartwarming, and aesthetically pleasing photos and videos across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Real customers and real drinks. It’s so fun to see!
In the past, Starbucks has hosted several campaigns and contests—the #WhiteCupContest, #RedCupArt, and the #RedCupContest—that received a lot of love from their fans. For the #WhiteCupContest, customers were encouraged to draw on the plain white drink cups Starbucks uses. A winner was selected and their design was placed on a reusable cup and sold in stores. The #RedCupArt contest was very similar. Starbucks encouraged customers to design their red holiday cups. Some of the designs were selected by the company to use on future red cups.
The #RedCupContest encouraged users to share creative photos of their red holiday cups on social media using the hashtag to enter.
Warby Parker makes glasses fun, stylish, and accessible. You’ll see photos on their Instagram that feature the product by highlighting real customers. On Instagram, Warby Parker posts tweets that they were tagged and mentioned in to share stories, reactions, and experiences from customers.
They also share photos of babies and pets, and there’s even a separate account called Warby Barker that is filled with dogs, cats, and even a guinea pig wearing the brand’s glasses.
So how can you leverage UGC for your brand? Look at the content that people are tagging you in, use social listening to find content that you might not be mentioned in, create a contest or campaign that encourages people to use a specific hashtag or tag your brand, or create and monitor a brand hashtag and encourage your community to use it.
Twitter post to promote this article: What other brands share user-generated content that really stands out? We’d love to hear your thoughts!!